· Sitka & Spruce (Capitol Hill)
If you want truly Northwestern cuisine, you can’t leave Seattle without trying star chef Matt Dillon’s Sitka and Spruce. The ingredients are natural, mostly local, and combined in innovative ways. The menu changes with the seasons, but if you’re there this fall you have to try the yogurt with pistachio, raspberries, and elderflower and the Neah Bay king salmon with radishes, peas, and sour rose.
· World Pizza (International District)
This super-casual Chinatown pizzeria seems unassuming, but the pizza is off-the-charts good. You can sample one of the shop’s basic pies or build your own with ingredients that include everything from wasabi pineapple to basil-walnut pesto. How cool is this place? They have their very own Tumblr.
· Kafe Berlin (First Hill)
Just up the block from the Frye Art Museum, Kafe Berlin feels like a whole separate world in the middle of Seattle. They serve up modern twists on German favorites like sausages, sandwiches, and soups, plus German candies and chocolates. Seating is limited, though, so you may have to kill some time. Luckily, the coffee is worth it.
· Dahlia Lounge (Belltown)
Local celebrity chef Tom Douglas has his fingerprints all over some of the best restaurants in town. Dahlia is where you can get his comfort food. The menu contains expected brunch staples like eggs benedict and biscuits of gravy, but the high quality of the local ingredients brings the dishes to a new level. This is one of the hottest reservations in town, so while you’re waiting kill time at the Dahlia takeaway next door and have an apple-caramel brioche wrapped up to go.
At Dahlia Lounge